Current News - A Go Fund Me Project - "Helping Students in Tanzania, Aya Education Fund"

Do you live in the Sea to Sky area and have English Dictionaries, used or new School Supplies, various items like socks and underwear, or sports equipment that you would like to donate?

Our friends - the Armstrong family - are going to be heading from Squamish BC to Boma to visit Kengereka School as part of their East African adventure.  Prior to heading to volunteer in other areas, they will visit the school and bring these items over to the teachers and students.


Our hope is that the school can get another laptop as the one that was donated years ago has since retired itself.  We are excited for their trip to get to see the brand new classroom and see everyone.  Any donations can also be directed to their Go Fund Me page as part of raising money for the school.


Aya Education Fund

Aya Education Fund is a registered charity which helps provide for students at Kengereka School in Boma Ng'ombe Tanzania.  This fund provides assistance for school fees, supplies, and student needs to help these students have a chance at success.  The village of Boma Ng'ombe is a village of approximately 11,313 (as of 2012 census) in the Hai district near Kilimanjaro.  Many families rely on farming for both work and for sustenance.  Poverty is rampant, and many children are pulled out of school to help farm and provide for their families.  The goal of Aya is to help provide the needs of the students and school as well as help take the burden off of the families so that the children can receive a proper education and break the cycle of poverty.


Kingereka School

Boma Ng'ombe Tanzania



How did Aya Education Fund Begin?

by Joanne McFadden - founder

In 2009 I went to do the Everest Base trek with one of my best childhood friends, Sarah.  After that trip, we planned on trekking Kilimanjaro as I wanted to cross it off of my bucket list.  Prior to this actually happening, Sarah took her own life.  Aside from the devastation of losing one of my closest friends, there was the loss of a challenge we wanted to face together.  Some friends that we had met were planning a trip to do a safari and trek of kilimanjaro in 2013.  They asked if I would like to come as they knew I wanted to honour this agreement that I had with Sarah.  I jumped at the chance and then embarked on a trip that would change my life.


During the trek, I became friends with my trek guide, Charles Shayo.  We talked about non profit work, education, poverty and about how we could make a difference.  He invited me to come back to Tanzania to stay with him and his family and experience the "Real Africa".  A few months later, I returned to Tanzania and stayed in Boma Ng'ombe where he lived with his family.  We visited the school where his son attended called Kengereka.  I went with the plan to sponsor 2 students, meet the teachers and spend time with the students.  When I was paying for the school fees, another student (Neema) showed up at school by herself as she just wanted to go to school and had never been.


This was the beginning of Aya Education Fund.  I was so impressed that a little girl would just walk to school on her own wearing all of the clothes that she owned and just wanted to have an education.  The next time I returned to Tanzania we had 7 students in our scholarship program, and shortly after we had 10.  The government then changed their policy and would pay for the primary school fees.  We would continue to pay for the school fees for the 10 students in our program, however needed to look at what else we could do to help more students.


Our focus now is to continue to pay these high school fees, and to now pay for exam fees, purchase school supplies and whatever else is needed to ensure that students will be successful.  Long term, we would like to have a breakfast program ($4500 USD for 880 students to eat breakfast for a year), build a new kitchen ($10,000 USD), a new toilet (approx $5,000) and are looking at other new options.  Also, to provide continuing education for teachers and for parents of the students at Kingereka.


I hope that you feel connected to these students, their stories and the amazing group of people who have joined the Aya team.  We all try to make sure that every donation dollar is used to the fullest.  Aside from basic costs of money transfers, accounting fees and some office expenses, we donate our time, pay for many supplies ourselves and send as much money to Tanzania as we can.  


Please consider donating, we want to ensure that every child has access to education and can then in turn provide support to others in their community and break this cycle of poverty.


Thank you,


Joanne McFadden